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My question: if you changed the age to 66 years, assumed max SS income for 2004 (1) and married filing joint, what is the taxable income and AGI one could have and still remain in 15% bracket?

The top of the 15% bracket for MFJ filing status is $58,100 in taxable income (2004). Using the standard deduction (both spouses 65) this translates into AGI of $75,900. Note that everything is inflation adjusted each year.

Related question: does realized capital gains have an impact on the tax bracket? Or does the amount of IRA distribution control the bracket? IOW, does one need to find a porportional withdrawal amount from IRAs vs taxable to maximize income in the 15% bracket?

I'm thinking your goal is to keep the taxation of your capital gains at 5%. If I'm right, income is income is income when determining the bracket.

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